Ken Burns

American documentary filmmaker

Kenneth Lauren "Ken" Burns[1] (born July 29, 1953)[1] is an American director and producer of documentary movies. He is known for his style of using archival footage and photographs. Burns is also a historian and writer.[1]

Ken Burns
Ken Burns 2016.jpg
Burns in April 2016
Kenneth Lauren Burns

(1953-07-29) July 29, 1953 (age 69)
Alma materHampshire College
Years active1981–present
Amy Stechler (m. 1982–1993)

Julie Deborah Brown (m. 2003)

His most widely known documentaries are The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001), The War (2007), The National Parks: America's Best Idea (2009), Prohibition (2011) and The Central Park Five (2012). His movies have been nominated for two Academy Awards, and have won Emmy Awards, among other honors.[1]

Burns was born on July 29, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York[1] His ancestors owned slaves, and one was a Confederate soldier.[2][3] He studied at Hampshire College.[1] Burns was married to Amy Stechler from 1982 until they divorced in 1993.[1] He married Julie Deborah Brown in 2003, and in 2017 they were still marrie..[1]

Burns said that he is influenced by Shelby Foote and Errol Morris.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Ken Burns Biography (1953-)". Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  2. "Finding Your Roots: Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns Uncovers Lincoln Connection". Ancestry Blog. 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  3. "Ben Affleck Requested His Slave-Owner Ancestor Be Censored From PBS' 'Finding Your Roots'". Hollywood Reporter. 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2020-11-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. Bragg, Meredith; Gillespie, Nick (October 3, 2011). "Ken Burns on PBS Funding, Being a 'Yellow-Dog Democrat,' & Missing Walter Cronkite". Reason. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012.

Other websitesEdit

  Media related to Ken Burns at Wikimedia Commons